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Apple Says It Will Let Social Media Platform Parler Back on the App Store

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Four months after banning the social media platform Parler from its App Store, Apple says Parler has proposed an update to its content moderation policies and will be “approved for reinstatement.”

In a letter to Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Apple’s Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly outlined the company’s process for deciding whether to keep or let apps on the App Store.

He said such a process is conducted before an app is accepted on the App Store, when the developer seeks to roll out an update, or if there “particular issues” brought by “customer complaints, reports from authorities” or “posts on social media or press reports.”

Powderly went on to say that Apple found “a significant number of posts on the Parler app” which violated Apple’s community guidelines. Specifically, he said the posts “encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence against specific people.”

He also said Apple asked Parler to remove “specifically identified prohibited content,” and for information on how the company planned to “improve its content moderation practices” and asked for a response in 24 hours.

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However, he said Parler “did not communicate a sufficient plan to improve its moderation of user-generated content in the app” which led to its removal from the App Store.

Read the letter below:

But, he said after Parler’s removal, the company “engaged in substantial conversations” with Apple’s App Review Team.

“As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices, and the App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021 that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store,” Powderly added.

He also said Apple made an “independent decision to remove Parler” from the App Store and “did not coordinate or otherwise consult with Google or Amazon with respect to that decision.”

Lee and Buck sent a letter to Apple on March 31 asking why the company removed Parler from its App Store.

In the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Apple, Amazon, and Google moved to kick Parler — which billed itself as a “free speech” platform — off of their services as the companies its users violated their content guidelines.

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